SINGAPORE - Last year was the warmest year in Singapore's history, according to the inaugural Annual Climate Assessment Report released by the Meteorological Service Singapore (MSS) on Tuesday (March 22).
The annual mean temperature of 28.3 deg C experienced in 2015 - exceeding the climatological average by 0.8 dec C - was matched only in 1997 and 1998, MSS said.
Singapore saw warmer than normal monthly temperatures for all months last year, bar February. New monthly records were also set, with the warmest months being July, October, November and December.
MSS added that the warming trend in Singapore has been observed over a number of decades - the average rise of 0.25 deg C per decade from 1948 to 2015 was more than twice the global warming rate (0.12 deg C) over the same period.
"This trend is observed to be accompanied by an increase in the number of warm days (days with temperature above 34.1 deg C) and warm nights in Singapore, occurring against a background of year-to-year climate variability, mostly associated with El Nino and La Nina events," the service said.
Last year also turned out to be the second driest year on record, with only 1,266mm of rainfall recorded. The driest year was in 1997.
The drier weather in the second half of 2015, according to MSS, was exacerbated by the prevailing El Nino, which contributed to one of the longest and most severe transboundary haze events experienced in Singapore.
On the upside, the prevailing El Nino, which developed in mid-2015 and peaked in December, is gradually weakening and has been forecast to weaken further as it transitions to neutral conditions in the middle of this year.
Warmer conditions, however, can still be expected over the next one or two months. Mean monthly temperatures are likely to be significantly higher than their respective long-term averages.
MSS warned the public to brace for warm days with daily maximum temperatures of between 33 and 35 deg C.
In light of the hotter, drier and wetter conditions that could become more frequent in Singapore, MSS has also launched its free weather mobile app, Weather@SG.
Weather@SG will provide users with access to the latest national forecasts, observations as well as warnings and advisories, MSS said.
The app is also equipped with features such as push notifications, the ability to detect a user's location and automatically display the two-hour Nowcast and current weather conditions.
It can be downloaded from both the Apple App and Android Google Play stores.
Both the MSS' climate assessment report and Weather@SG were released in conjunction with World Meteorological Day, which falls on March 23.
The report will be an annual publication available on the MSS website and serves to provide relevant and useful weather information, including a perspective of Singapore's climate in comparison with historical records.